Mar 4, 2012

Suspicions Confirmed: Hugo > The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Hugo movie poster

I was so excited to finally see the movie Hugo that I strategically timed my NetFlix return so that I would (hopefully, fingers crossed!) get in on the first round of Hugo recipients without having to face that dreaded very long wait after it won all those Oscars.  Success!  Hugo arrived in our mailbox on Wednesday, and we sat down to watch it Friday night...

And that’s when I experienced something so rare for a bibliophile I had to talk about it here.  I liked the movie better than the book.  I thought I might, I said when I reviewed The Invention of Hugo Cabret that I felt like cinema might be the better venue for a story about cinema, and it was!  Hugo was stunningly gorgeous, the colors were beautiful and rich in gold, brown, and steel hues that made the blues and greens and reds really stand out when they appeared.  The story was charming, I actually liked the ways that they changed the story (like lack of Hugo’s injury) better, and while the movie wasn’t as detailed as the book, I felt that there was more of an investment in the story.  

The movie wasn’t without its flaws.  I don’t like shots obviously built for 3D, but they weren’t rampant.  I was somewhat annoyed by the whole 'let's talk in British accents because this is a foreign location' thing when the movie took place in France. Also one of my complaints about The Invention of Hugo Cabret was the lack of character depth.  This didn’t really improve in Hugo, in fact, I actively disliked Asa Butterfield’s portrayal of Hugo Cabret, finding him disingenuous and whiny.  I didn’t particularly love Chloe Moretz in this role either, attempting to play the sweet little girl we all know she isn’t.  It didn’t really work for me, but it also wasn’t so glaring that it ruined the movie.  

Crackerjacks as Crookshanks from Harry Potter
You know what I did love about the cast?  People, Hugo was basically a Harry Potter minor character reunion!  Uncle Dursley, Narcissa Malfoy, Madame Maxime, and I did spend some time online after seeing the smush-faced Persian in Christopher Lee’s bookstore trying to determine if this was Crackerjacks, the cat who played Crookshanks. Alas, this could not be determined.

In the end, I’m putting Hugo in that very rare category of movies I prefer to books.  Let me know what you thought!  Did you enjoy Hugo more than The Invention of Hugo Cabret?  


  1. I also thought the movie was better than the book. I would disagree with you when it comes to the casting because I really loved Asa in the movie. I'm looking forward to see him in Ender's Game.

  2. I haven't read the book, but I must confess to not really loving the movie, although I can see why it won so many awards.

    I think the movie trailer was deceptive, to me, made it look much more magical/adventure than it was. i took my kids to see it and they were pretty bored, LOL. i think it is a movie for adults?

    loved reading this post :)

  3. I will have to see this movie then! I think I haven't gotten it from Redbox because I don't think it's a movie my husband would be interested in. Do you think 4 & 5 year-olds would enjoy this? I'm so tired of 3D...

  4. To Nomes and Jacinda--I'm not sure how I feel about this movie for kids, even though it's technically a kid's movie! Nomes, you said your kids were bored, and Jacinda, the entire time my boyfriend and I were watching it he kept saying 'this isn't for kids!'. Not because it had adult material, but because the subject just doesn't seem like something kids would be interested in.

    I did like Hugo better than the book, but like I said, I still had some issues and didn't love the movie (or the book) in general.

  5. I've just come across this because I'm searching online to find out if the cat in Hugo is Crackerjack! =P No luck either...


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